The 84-page assignment I'd been working on for the past 31 hours was practically staring back at me from the laptop screen, as though disappointed at my low stamina and poorly developed physique. On my left, the phone was buzzing incessantly with texts from all my friends and acquaintances concerned about my lack of social media presence. I yawned and tried to make sense of my current situation, knowing I wasn't the only one attempting to dissect her life at 3.11 AM. So how did we end up here?
I woke up at 9 AM on a Saturday, and proceeded to spend the next five hours working at my study desk, fervently typing away on my laptop in a bid to finish my assignments. Just as I got up to go hydrate, I realised that I couldn't turn my neck and both my kneecaps were weak and hurting. It wasn't the first time I'd experienced something like that. As a university student, I have to attend classes throughout the day in seats that aren't designed for comfort, like thousands of others at my university. For those working at office environments in their 20s, being seated uncomfortably for hours is a daily thing and even more prolonged. People in their 20s are increasingly developing bad postures and weak bone structures as more people strive to meet the global workforce's demands for younger employees.
On the same Saturday, at about 5 PM, I received a wedding invite online. I felt queasy looking at the gold lettering, as thoughts of face-to-face interaction began flooding my mind. I'm an introvert, of course, but my underdeveloped social skills aren't exactly uncommon among my age group. Most people in their 20s at present aren't very keen on pursuing social interactions outside social media networking sites. There are two reasons behind it: we've all grown too accustomed to living behind a keyboard, and our enthusiasm for parties can now be considered similar to that of 30-year-olds due to decreased stamina.
As the Saturday drew to a close, I received a call from a friend who'd just gone through an emotionally-straining breakup. Neither she nor her ex were prepared for the toll it'd take on their mental well-being, having not realised that setting the tone in online conversations with emojis, can risk becoming tone-deaf in reality. These days, couples in their 20s often experience strained relationships among themselves due to a lack of healthy conversations. Proper courtship is gradually getting replaced with the idea of "Netflix and chill".
While this was just one Saturday in the life of an emotionally and physically exhausted 21-year-old, the aforementioned account, unfortunately, holds for many others in my age group out there. We're all battling against growing tides of negativity and psychological turmoil as we put in more work than our fellow humans in their 30s, to adapt to the fast-paced reality we've been exposed to at relatively early ages. We just can't seem to be able to catch a break, can we?
Rasha Jameel is two lazy days away from being an Olympian at procrastination, knock some sense into her at firstname.lastname@example.org